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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Sex hormone concentrations in blood serum from the north Atlantic fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus).

Blood serum concentrations of testosterone and progesterone were measured in postmortem samples taken at sea from 814 fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) caught during the summers (June-September) of 1981-1989. The ages of 781 of these animals were also assessed. The testosterone concentrations in samples from 352 males averaged 2 nmol/l; 41 samples had concentrations of 0.1 nmol/l or lower and 34 of these came from whales aged between 2 and 14 years and showed a Gaussian type of age distribution with a peak number at 7 to 8 years. The mean testosterone concentrations in the males increased by more than fourfold between June and August. Serum progesterone concentrations of the 462 females fell into three separate groups: (1) group I with values < or = 0.1 nmol/l; (2) group II with intermediate values of > 0.1 nmol/l but < 10 nmol/l; (3) group III with values of > or = 10 nmol/l. These three groups of females seemed to consist respectively of young sexually immature females, mature non-pregnant females and pregnant females. The age distribution in the groups indicated that puberty in females is attained chiefly between the ages of 7 and 10. The yearly pregnancy rate (that percentage of all females caught and studied in a year which had progesterone values > or = 10 nmol/l) was between 35% and 55%, except in 1987 when it was 67%. The yearly pregnancy rate would range from 56% to 93% if only mature females (i.e. those with serum progesterone > 0.1 nmol/l) were considered.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Sex hormone concentrations in blood serum from the north Atlantic fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus). Kjeld, J.M., Sigurjónsson, J., Arnason, A. J. Endocrinol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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